KY Policy Blog

Visual: Medicaid Expansion Helps, Not Hurts, State Budget

By Kenny Colston
May 7, 2015

Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Kentucky expanded Medicaid eligibility to those with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line — or $32,900 for a family of four in 2014. More than 310,000 Kentuckians were enrolled in the Medicaid expansion by the end of 2014. According to an independent study, the expansion will help create jobs, new tax revenue and significant savings in the state budget, as shown below. You can read a more detailed analysis of the study here.

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New Gallup Poll Shows Kentucky Now a Leading State in Insurance Coverage

By Ashley Spalding
February 24, 2015

Kentucky is a standout state in reducing the share of people without health insurance, rocketing from 39th to 11th among the states in its rate of uninsured according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll shows that Kentucky’s uninsured rate dropped from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 9.8 percent in 2014; even better than a midyear estimate from Gallup of 11.9 percent. Kentucky had the second sharpest one-year reduction in uninsurance rates for adults in the nation.

new gallup poll health insurance feb 2015 table.docx

A big reason for Kentucky ranking so high is the state’s decision to read more

Independent Study Says Medicaid Expansion a Good Deal for Kentucky’s Economy

By Ashley Spalding
February 12, 2015

In recent months, some have expressed concern that the cost of Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion may exceed its benefits—especially in light of greater than expected participation by low-income Kentuckians. However, a new independent report from Deloitte and the University of Louisville’s Urban Studies Institute shows that a net positive fiscal benefit to Kentucky is still anticipated because greater enrollment also means higher than projected job creation from more federal dollars flowing in to the state.

The report shows that a total of 310,000 Kentuckians enrolled in the Medicaid expansion in 2014 read more

Aspects of Heroin Bills Would Increase State Costs But Have Little Expected Impact on Crime

By Ashley Spalding
February 4, 2015

Amid Kentucky’s heroin crisis, a number of bills have been filed for the 2015 legislative session to address the problem. However, some aspects of what is being proposed would work against the corrections reforms passed in 2011—increasing the state’s prison population and costs while having little expected impact on crime.

Kentucky passed the “Public Safety and Offender Accountability Act” (HB 463) in 2011 in response to the growing recognition that mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes have cost Kentucky—and other states—a lot of money and have not necessarily led to read more

More Support for Family Caregivers Good for Seniors and State

By Ashley Spalding
January 6, 2015

Last year Kentucky ranked worst in the nation on the AARP Public Policy Institute’s scorecard on long-term care services and supports. A recent report by the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) provides some ideas about ways Kentucky could better support family caregivers of elders in order to improve long-term care.

Although the majority of seniors want to age in their homes, the state programs that provide related supports in Kentucky are seriously underfunded. Thus many seniors find themselves in nursing homes instead.

State funding for the Department for Aging and Independent read more

New Census Data Does Not Reflect Health Insurance Gains Made in 2014, But Shows How Much Kentuckians Needed Coverage

By Ashley Spalding
September 16, 2014

The Census data released today from the American Community Survey (ACS) shows that 616,000 Kentuckians or one in seven residents did not have health insurance in 2013, which is about what the uninsured rate was the previous year. Although Kentucky is making big gains in this area because of the Medicaid expansion and Kynect, they will not be reflected in Census data until next year. What the new data does show is how desperately Kentucky needed the coverage that is now available.

The new ACS data—for which respondents were asked read more

New Health Cooperative Leading Way in Providing Exchange Coverage

By Jason Bailey
August 13, 2014

Kentucky is continuing to gain national recognition for its success in expanding health insurance coverage, most recently in a Gallup poll showing Kentucky had the second-biggest drop of all states in the share of its population that is uninsured. Most of those gaining coverage are eligible for Medicaid, but people buying insurance through Kynect are also finding it very affordable, with an average premium for those receiving tax credits of only $88 a month after the credits are applied.

One factor helping make costs affordable may be the creation of read more

Evidence of Benefits of Medicaid Expansion Starting to Come In

By Ashley Spalding
July 18, 2014

Kentucky is starting to see the benefits of its decision to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in dramatic reductions in the number of uninsured across Kentucky counties and increased use of preventive care services, according to a recent presentation to the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare by Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Lawrence Kissner.

As seen in the maps below, the ACA has substantially increased the share of Kentuckians with insurance all across the state. In 2012, 75 Kentucky counties had uninsurance rates of at least 17 read more

Senate Budget Accepts Affordable Care Act Funds and Draws on Law’s Benefits

By Ashley Spalding
March 26, 2014

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Kentucky passed a hurdle this week when the Senate chose to accept billions of federal dollars in its budget to fund the law’s expansion of health insurance and built the budget based on the General Fund cost savings associated with the ACA. With 321,000 Kentuckians signed up for coverage so far and given the monies that will flow to health care providers, it’s becoming more unlikely Kentucky will ever move backward on this opportunity to make the state healthier.

The ACA’s implementation read more

Kentucky Among States with Biggest Coverage Assistance from Health Reform

By Jason Bailey
October 18, 2013

Kentucky is one of three states in the nation where more than four out of five of the uninsured will be eligible for health coverage assistance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

The report estimates that 81 percent of Kentucky’s uninsured are or will be eligible for assistance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), subsidies to buy coverage on the health exchange or subsidies to small firms to purchase coverage (see graph read more